Summertime—many churches are in various stages of Vacation Bible School (VBS), the largest outreach event of any church’s children’s ministry. Some churches are in the throes of the planning phase and are praying for the children who will attend later this summer. Other churches are just finishing and packing up materials, while still others are in full production mode with hundreds of children hearing the Gospel this week.
During the planning phase of VBS, many churches wonder how they will provide the resources needed. Partnering with another church can be a two-fold blessing.
This year, two SBC of Virginia churches began a VBS partnership, committing to give and receive resources every year. It began with Safe Harbor Baptist Church in Bedford offering its VBS materials to Fairmont Baptist Church in Boones Mill. The year before, Safe Harbor had received materials from Twin Oaks Baptist Church in Ferrum.
Natalie Sloan, Safe Harbor’s children’s director, commented, “It was a blessing to create a fun environment for our children even though our budget was limited. Twin Oaks blessed our ministry and allowed us to achieve that goal. I felt led to share the decorations with Fairmont Baptist, who is doing last year’s theme this upcoming summer. I highly recommend that churches partner because we all have one goal, which is leading kids to Christ.”
After Twin Oaks’ children’s director, Heather Bowling, heard what Safe Harbor was doing, Twin Oaks also offered to partner with Fairmont. “Twin Oaks has been blessed with such wonderfully artistic and creative members who make our themes come to life each year. We feel very fortunate to be able to share these materials with other area churches. It is something so simple that has such a far-reaching and lasting impact. Partnering with other churches has been such a blessing because we have enjoyed getting to know other believers in the area,” Bowling commented.
Every summer, VBS materials are being delivered to help spread the Gospel. “I believe it is good stewardship on the part of both of our churches,” Fairmont’s children’s director, Melanie Nestor, explained. “Partnering with another church to use their past VBS materials allows us to better serve our community and allows the materials a second chance at reaching children for Christ.”
SBCV churches are known for their partnership in the Gospel. While there is certainly a blessing in receiving, giving also produces a blessing as churches are unified in the work of the ministry.
Paul admonishes the church to live in unity. “Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice” (Romans 15:5-6, HCSB). As churches are unified in the work of children’s ministry, partnerships flourish to reach the next generation
for Christ. ■